Why Property Ownders Should Make Your Apartment Pet-Friendly—And How to Do It

As a property owner, you probably make a lot of passive income renting out your apartments or house to tenants. If you're looking for a way to step up your property's desirability, try listing it as pet-friendly. Here's why.

Why Pet-Friendly?

You may be wary to open up your house to your tenants' pets, but think about the benefits. If it's a slow market and you're having trouble finding renters who will pay the price you ask, you can get an edge by allowing pets.

People with pets need to live somewhere, too, and they will pay almost anything to bring a house dog or cat with them. This gives you leverage to ask for higher rent. Your 1 bedroom apartment will never sit vacant, because you will have cashed in to a niche market.

How to Make Your Rental Pet-Friendly

  1. Fence the Yard: If you are renting out a house, attract dog owners by fencing in the yard. It may cost a few thousand dollars up-front, but you'll make that money back soon with higher rent. Be sure to make the fence private so the dog can't see any passerby and bark.
  2. Ask for a Deposit: Yes, you can ask for a pet deposit on top of the normal one month's rent deposit. This will cover incidentals specifically related to the pets. For example, this could cover incidents such as the cat using the stairs as a scratching post, or if the dog tracks mud inside and you have to deep-clean the floor.
  3. Provide Indoor Gates: If you only want your tenants to use the tiled or wood-floored area of your home for pets (and not the carpeted areas) you should provide some baby gates so they can keep their pets in the kitchen. This will ensure that they will follow your rule. 
  4. Ask for Pet Credentials: You may scoff at the idea of interviewing the pet before anyone signs a lease, but it's the best way to ensure a good fit. Toy Pomeranians could be a world apart from two huge Mastiffs who slobber. Ask for its vaccination list, obedience training certificate, and registration papers. Let the dog run around in the backyard to see how it will behave. Does it bark at a leaf blowing by and the neighbors on a walk? Does it look like it's going to dig a hole to China (or the yard next door?) 

While making your home pet-friendly can be extra work, you'll ensure that you always have renters who will pay higher rent. For more information on how to make this work, talk to experts such as Universal Realty Group.